Craig Phoenix, better known as "The Phoenix" is a Welsh podcaster, formerly a co-host on the Max Wrestling Podcast and Throne Zone, and is co-founder of the Max Wrestling brand. He helped launch
Max Wrestling as an e-magazine in 2013 with his cousin "The Captain" Dazzy Dangerously, before the duo transformed into the Max Wrestling Podcast in 2015. The Phoenix is considered an honorary member of The Max Elite, and in the pre-Knowledge Championship days of Max Wrestling Podcast, captained Team Blue Moon Rising against Evan "Money" Makeba's Team Blood Red Money.
He is the current Max Wrestling Knowledge Champion a his fifth reign, breaking his own record. He is also a former nine-time Predictions Champion, one-time Promo and Television Champion and was the first two-time World Champion.
Phoenix was the first Golden Slam champion, winning all four Championships currently available in Max Wrestling, but has also won all five that have been available, including the Promo Championship. Phoenix was the first Iron Bank winner in 2018 and the first person to hold the Iron Bank contract twice after being handed the briefcase by 2021 winner, Chris Durham.
The Phoenix has the longest experience in trivia competition, having competed since 2015, and from the inception of the Knowledge Championship in 2016. He competed against Beer, The B******, Evan Makeba and Kinny Killa at Trivia Takeover in June 2016, where Killa was crowned the inaugural Knowledge Champion. Phoenix left Max Wrestling Podcast as a regular co-host in 2017, his last full-time show being PromoMania II where he was unable to defeat Mike Larkin for the Knowledge Championship. He later returned at PromoSlam 2 that year, where Larkin successfully defended the title against Phoenix and Kinny Killa.
Phoenix intended to return to Max Wrestling full time a few weeks later, even shooting a contract signing with Dazzy, but failed to appear at Promo Series 2: Sudden Death. As a result, he remained away from the show. He finally returned at PromoMania III, defeating The Kingpin to become the first Iron Bank contract holder - guaranteeing him a shot at the Knowledge Champion any time within a year. Phoenix did not compete for the entire year, cashing in on Mike Larkin at PromoMania IV, but Larkin retained. Larkin himself then challenged Phoenix to a rematch for the Knowledge Championship at Trivia Takeover 4.0: Curse Of Champions, with the loser being banned from challenging for one year, which Larkin again retained.
Larkin decided to lift Phoenix's suspension at the Maxies Awards 2019, granting him one more shot, where The Phoenix finally became Knowledge Champion, defeating Larkin in sudden death overtime.
Sadly, Phoenix's reign was short-lived, as he was defeated by Moses Marquez barely a month later at Podcast Promo Rumble 5.
Phoenix attempted to become a two-time Iron Bank winner at the PromoMania V Pre-Launch Show, but he and Ella Jay were defeated by Larkin. Phoenix was also granted a rematch with Marquez at
PromoMania V, in which Marquez retained the Knowledge Championship.
He finally found redemption at the following special event Trivia Takeover 5: Champion's Chase, where Marquez was outrun in the inaugural Champion's Chase match, leading to Phoenix defeating Travis Anderson for the vacant title to become a two-time Knowledge Champion. He successfully defended the title against Marquez and Kinny Killa at PromoSlam 2020, but failed to appear at the Promo Series 5 Pre-Launch show to defend his title against Alex Doriot. As a result, Phoenix was stripped of the title, which was awarded to Doriot. After Doriot defended against Ella Jay and Moses Marquez in the Winner Stays On challenge on the Promo Series 5: Enemy Lines main show, Phoenix made up for his missed appearance but was unable to regain the title from Doriot. Doriot was due to defend against The Phoenix in a rematch at the Maxies Awards 2020, but this time Doriot failed to appear and was stripped of the title. Phoenix then - again - defeated Travis Anderson for the vacant title, beginning his third reign as Knowledge Champion.
Phoenix retained the title via draw against Doriot and Ella Jay at Podcast Promo Rumble 6 in January 2021. He then defended the title against Daniel Crimmins at PromoMania VI, before having to defend later the same night in Mike Larkin's pre-planned Iron Bank cash-in, where Larkin won to begin his own third reign.
During his third reign as Knowledge Champion, Phoenix also became Max Wrestling World Champion - which can be defended in both promo and trivia competition. He was the first person to defend the title in trivia competition, defeating Mike Larkin in August 2021.
Phoenix defeated Chad Malcolm in a trivia battle on the PromoSlam 2021 Pre-Launch Show to earn a shot at Knowledge Champion Moses Marquez, renewing their rivalry. Phoenix defeated Marquez, becoming the first 4-time Knowledge Champion.
At Promo Series 6: Lethal Games, Phoenix defended his Knowledge Championship in the traditional Winner Stays On gauntlet. He defeated Travis Anderson, Chad Malcolm and Moses Marquez in a clean sweep. He was also due to compete in the Ring Of Games for the Television Championship the previous day, but failed to appear. He found redemption when he was voted to challenge Marquez for the title at The Maxies Awards 2021 the following month. Phoenix won in a one-minute Quickfire round.
Despite cutting several promos in the early days of Max Wrestling Podcast, Phoenix largely stayed away from official promo competition until entering the Promo League in 2020 as an underdog. He lost his first match to Travis Anderson, but later picked up a win over Cypher. Phoenix's demon gimmick was based very closely on WWE superstar Finn Balor. He then lost his only other Promo League match against Rob Chef. Still finding his feet, Phoenix entered the King Of The Mic tournament, but was eliminated in the first round by Crooked Smile. Phoenix continued to push himself in promo competition, entering the PromoBowl later that year, defeating Cypher once again in the first round, but was eliminated in the finals by Chris Durham.
Phoenix was voted by the public to challenge Promo Champion Moses Marquez at the Maxies Awards 2020, where the match was voted as a draw. As is tradition, Marquez was able to choose his own challenger at Podcast Promo Rumble 6. Marquez decided to give Phoenix a rematch, which proved to be his downfall as Phoenix overcame all the odds to become Promo Champion.
Phoenix had been challenged in advance the previous summer to a promo exhibition by The Shape. By the time PromoMania VI arrived, Phoenix was Promo Champion and The Shape's alter ego "The Captain" was Max Wrestling World Champion. Together, they produced the first ever fully-cinematic match in Max Wrestling with both championships on the line. During the battle, The Phoenix deemed himself worthy, taking possession of The Shape's axe before setting him on fire and being declared the winner - retaining the Promo Championship and becoming the new World Champion.
At Trivia Takeover 6: Mortal Conflict, Phoenix had to defend both his championships. Though he retained the World Championship against Moni Lynn, Marquez evened the score by regaining the Promo Championship.
Now a seasoned champion, Phoenix entered the 2021 King Of The Mic tournament, still as World Champion. He was originally scheduled to face Chad Malcolm in the first round, but was left with a mystery opponent when Malcolm dropped out. Phoenix's opponent turned out to be "The Captain" himself, who gained some revenge by defeating The Phoenix, but as his intentions were to call out The Demoness, allowed Phoenix to advance regardless of the public vote. Phoenix evened his score with Chris Durham in the semi-finals, taking the victory and ending up against Travis Anderson in the final. Following the semi-finals, Chad Malcolm - now Anderson's "lawyer" announced Anderson's proposal to raise the stakes for the King Of The Mic final by announcing he would be banned from tournament and championship matches for one year, if Phoenix put the World Championship on the line. Phoenix agreed to the terms, but ultimately lost the Championship in the final. During the reign, Phoenix surpassed inaugural champion Dazzy with 128 days.
Following his loss, Phoenix entered the second annual PromoBowl, defeating Chris Maldonado in the first round, and would have gone up against longtime rival Moses Marquez in the finals, before promo competition ceased.
At Podcast Promo Rumble 7, The Phoenix defeated Chad Malcolm to become the first two-time World Champion, leaving the show with all three top titles. In fact, Malcolm surrendered the championship to The Phoenix in exchange for the Iron Bank briefcase and the choice of Phoenix's first challenger - which turned out to be The Captain, who attacked Phoenix from behind. The following week, The Captain announced their match would be a "Cinematic Sequel" at PromoMania VII. Following the brawl, Phoenix was defeated by The Captain via pinfall. Moments later, Chad Malcolm cashed in the Iron Bank briefcase and also pinned Phoenix, and was declared the new Television Champion.
Championships and accomplishments
Max Wrestling Knowledge Championship (5 times, current)
Max Wrestling Promo Championship (1 time)
Max Wrestling Predictions Championship (9 times)
Max Wrestling World Championship (2 times)
Max Wrestling Television Championship (1 time)
Iron Bank Contract (2 times)
3rd and 6th Max Wrestling Triple Crown Champion
1st Max Wrestling Golden Slam Champion
Phoenix in 2018